Tuesday, January 04, 2011

FC United kick-off campaign to be winter warmers for homeless

 Source: MEN

 Pamela Welsh

 FC United have launched their annual drive to get supporters to donate spare winter woolies to charity.

The football club, known as the Rebels, and opponents Ashton United laid aside their rivalries for one day to help the city's homeless.

The clubs appealed to both set of supporters to bring along spare big coats and winter clothing prior to their game at Gigg Lane yesterday.

Bury FC – FC United’s landlords – also asked their local supporters to contribute if they can.

The clothing will be distributed by local charities the Mustard Tree and Boaz Trust.

The collection is now in its third season and last year alone saw more than four tonnes of clothing donated by supporters.

This year the collection has again been giving the backing of Manchester politicians and actors, including Bury South MP Ivan Lewis, who said: "At this time of the year we should be thinking about those who are vulnerable and lonely.

"FC United should be congratulated on this excellent initiative which will help those who need it most and is a fine example of the club’s commitment to our local communities."

Stars of the stage and screen are also calling for people to get behind the collection. They include Johnny Vegas, Sue Cleaver who plays Eileen Grimshaw in TV’s Corrie, Maxine Peake, together with Justin Moorhouse, James Quinn and the rest of the cast of 'Zack', currently running at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

FC United’s general manager Andy Walsh said: "We christened this event Big Coat Day as a bit of fun but there’s a serious message behind it – the homeless of Manchester need these donations, never more so in the middle of the winter. We’re pleased Ashton United and Bury also worked with us on this."